In September 2009, Stephen Kelly unexpectedly resigned from his post as CEO of application integration and development tools vendor Micro Focus, one of the UK’s largest IT companies. Unheard of in the industry since, he was today revealed as a director of UK carbon management software vendor CloudApps.
The CloudApps application, wihch allows businesses to track and manage the carbon footprint of their operations, is based on Salesforce.com’s platform, and the company’s chairman Dr Steven Garnett – a veteran of Oracle and Siebel – is also Salesforce.com’s European chairman.
Kelly, who was also previously CEO of US customer relationship management vendor Chordiant, says he believes the green technology space is ripe for the kind of rapid growth strategy that he and Garnett learnt from their Silicon Valley former employers.
“There is a blueprint for how to grow companies, and the Americans have done it very well in the tech space,” he explained. “I don’t think there’s a better embryonic space [for it] than sustainability and the green tech agenda.”
The cloud computing model will not only allow the company grow quickly, Kelly said, but he also argued that it allows it to operate in a more environmentally friendly fashion. Kelly claims that to execute a given IT workload in Salesforce.com’s data centre consumes around 2% of the energy that it would in traditional facilities.
Shortly before his departure from Micro Focus, Kelly launched a ‘Technology Manifesto’, which he argued would help create 250,000 new jobs in the UK’s IT sector, and he continues to champion the cause.
“There are 1.5 million jobs in the UK IT, and I don’t see any reason why that can’t be 2 million or even 2.5 million,” Kelly said. “There is tremendous potential around green tech and sustainability, and software and IT will be at the heart of that. This could be an area where the UK leads the world.”